Missouri lawmakers pass limits on public construction

Local governments in Missouri would no longer be able to require union working conditions for public construction projects under a bill passed Thursday by the Republican-led legislature.

Counties, cities and other local governments currently have the option to issue bid requirements mandating union working conditions for contractors if less than half a project’s funds come from the state. The bill, which passed the House 104-52, would prohibit that.

The legislation also wouldn’t allow local governments to give preferential treatment to union contractors. Governments that violate those provisions would lose state funding and tax credits for two years.

Supporters argue ending project labor agreements will give non-union contractors more opportunities in bidding for public-construction jobs and lower the cost of those projects.

The policy likely will become law despite objections primarily from Democrats, who say so-called project labor agreements ensure quality and timeliness in public-works projects.

Gov. Eric Greitens has 15 days to take action on the legislation.

Read more: Southeast Missourian, St. Louis Public Radio

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